Translational Radiation and Imaging Service (Irradiator Core)

The Department of Radiation Oncology Cell and Animal Irradiation Core (the Core) consists of X-ray, cesium-137, and cobalt-60 sources as well as a new image guided small animal radiation research platform (SmART). The Core provides detailed knowledge of radiation responses in different mouse strains and is used by several investigators across UCLA.

SmART Image-guided Small Animal Irradiator at UCLA

The Core is supported by radiation biologists and medical physicists who can assist with dosimetry and experimental set up so expected dose can be precisely delivered to the cells, tissues, or animals. The core provides jigs for partial body irradiations, and the addition of the SmART enables delivery with highly conformal radiation dose targeting a small volume of the animal, be it the tumor target or part of an organ. Specifically, this unit provides highly conformal radiation dose patterns that are guided by on-board computed tomography imaging. This will allow scientists to conduct research that requires highly specific and accurate radiation dose patterns to be reliably delivered. Examples include studying the impact of radiation therapy doses on normal structure function, mitigation strategies, and radiation dose fractionation models for stereotactic radiotherapy applications. The unit is also retrofitted with a low-field magnetic field coil system to provide the world’s only low-magnetic field conformal radiation therapy unit. The SmART has expanded the Core’s ability for cone-beam CT and bioluminescent imaging for treatment planning and outcome assessment. Importantly, the Core will provide advice and support for many investigators at UCLA.

User Information and Requirements

New users will require training. Additionally, animal irradiations require ARC and possibly IBC approval (please contact us for consultation).

Resources

X-Irradiators

  • Large cabinet-style x-ray machine: This is a Gulmay Medical RS320 x-ray unit routinely operated at 300 kV, but can be operated at energies from 50 to 320 kV for specific research applications (please call for consultation). The maximum dose rate is approximately 5.5 Gy/min operated at 300 kV. Irradiation of cells and animals (up to rats) is possible. Total body, hemi-body, and localized irradiations down to a few cubic millimeter volumes using a stereotax are possible in animals. Once individuals have taken the Radiation Safety Training class offered by the UCLA Radiation Safety Office, they can be trained for self-operation of this machine.
  • Small animal image-guided x-irradiator (SmART): This is the PXi SmART X-ray unit operated at 225 kV (for irradiation treatments). The maximum dose rate is approximately 6 Gy/min. CT imaging capability allows for targeting of anatomical structures as small as 1 mm3 and positioning accuracy of 0.1 mm. In addition, a bioluminescent imaging system is available to image the luciferase transfected tumors for improved targeting accuracy and response assessment. A dedicated treatment planning system is available to register the CT images with other imaging modalities including small animal PET and MRI images. Plans involving multiple static beams and arcs can be created on the planning system to minimize off-target dose. High dose calculation accuracy is achieved using Monte Carlo simulation. Total and hemi-body irradiations are also possible. Irradiation of cells is also possible. This irradiator has been set-up but users will require extensive training for self-operation of this machine. Please contact us for more details.

Sealed-Source Gamma-Irradiators
NOTE: Individuals wishing to access these irradiators alone, without Department of Radiation Oncology staff accompaniment, must complete the Trustworthy & Reliability (T&R) process from UCLA Radiation Safety.

  • Cesium-137 irradiator: This is a GammaCell-40 for total or hemi-body irradiation of mice. The maximum dose rate is approximately 0.6 Gy/min. The animals for use in this machine must have been bred and continuously housed in the Radiation Oncology Gnotobiotic Animal Facility. (Please refer to the Animal Core site for purchasing and housing information.)
  • Cobalt-60 irradiator: This is a Best Theratronics-1000 for total or hemi-body irradiation of small and large animals weighing up to several tens of kilograms. The maximum dose rate is approximately 1 Gy/min.

Pricing

 

Radiation Source Service Price
Large Cabinet X-Ray Full Service, includes training
Machine Use Only
$37.44/30 minutes
$37.44/30 minutes
Small Animal Image Guided X-Irradiator (SmART) Full Service, includes training
Machine Use Only
$125.16/hour
$125.16/hour
Cesium-137 Irradiator Full Service, includes training
Machine Use Only
$37.44/30 minutes
$37.44/30 minutes
Cobolt-60 Irradiator Full Service, includes training
Machine Use Only
$37.44/30 minutes
$37.44/30 minutes

Contact Us

Kei Iwamoto, PhD
Department of Radiation Oncology
Phone: 310-206-5595
Email: [email protected]

Ke Sheng, PhD
Department of Radiation Oncology
Phone: 310-267-8979
Email: [email protected]

Frank Pajonk, MD, PhD
Department of Radiation Oncology
Phone: 310-206-8733
Email: [email protected]